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Thank You For The Harvest Party!

23 Oct

 

We would like to thank everyone who came out for, and contributed to, this year’s harvest potluck fundraiser.

We owe the party’s success to the residents who cooked, brought beverages, donated funds, and celebrated the 2019 season Saturday night.

Scroll down to see pictures. Please submit dish recipes to cvearthlab@gmail.com.

Warmly,

Judith, Denise, Sandy, and Shari, CV Earthlab Core Group

 

Rhubarb cobbler (fresh whipped cream not shown).

 

 

 

A Solid Garden Workday!

18 Mar

Thanks to everyone who came out to help prep the garden!  It was nice to see so many CVers come out despite the chilly weather.  About 16 souls braved the cold and helped to:

  1. Amend some soil, turn under the cover crops, and till and blend soil in three raised beds.
  2. Plant sugar snap peas, snow peas, and shelling peas along with hardy greens.
  3. Broke in the brand new kid-sized watering cans (which match the orange metal ones)
  4. Prep new planters for sunflowers.
  5. Prune herbs as well as some perennial pollinator-friendly plants.
  6. Marvel at the (potential) pupa/ chrysalis discovered on the milkweed.

Why start planting so early in the season?  Nature is preparing for spring renewal despite the low temps.  Read below a newsletter from Edible Schoolyard NYC’s Mirem for more context on early spring gardening.

Mirem’s Weekly Garden Tips: Mar 17

Hello fellow school gardeners,
Four weeks to last frost! Hard to believe given the weather, but in fact
this Tuesday (the 20th) is the March equinox . Longer days cue
growth for many temperate plants, regardless of temperature: you’ll notice
early-spring bulbs like crocuses, Siberian iris and snowdrops in bloom, and
daffodils making leaves like crazy in preparation for blooming next month.
Leaf buds are forming on trees and shrubs. Raspberries and roses are
starting to make actual leaves.

This is your last chance to prune woody herbs, shrubs and trees before the
all-out explosion of spring growth. Once the sap rises and leaves unfurl,
branches are more vulnerable and will have a harder time healing properly
from pruning cuts. I’ve attached a good article on pruning for further
reading. No time for reading? Head out to the garden and *do the bare
essentials of pruning:*

-Cut back any obviously dead branches (grey color, dry, no green visible
in the cross section)
-Remove any branches or stems that pose a hazard, for example eye-level
branches across a path
-Remove or cut back any branches that are in the way for any reason
-Remove branches that cross or rub against others (just keep the one you
prefer)
-Cut back very vigorous cane fruit and shrubs to keep them under control
-Trim back bare or leggy stems of thyme, rosemary, lavender, sage,
marjoram, mint, etc.
-Use regular pruning shears for small branches and stems. For bigger
branches, use loppers if you have them – the larger sizes can handle
diameters up to an inch and a half (at Edible Schoolyard NYC, we call them
“Cyndi Loppers”). When you make a cut on a branch that is any bigger than
an inch and a half, use a pruning saw. Make a shallow cut on the underside
of the branch, then cut through from the top – that prevents the bark from
stripping off when the branch breaks off. Don’t cut flush to the trunk,
leave the joint attached to the trunk to speed healing.
 
*What to do with the trimmings and prunings?*  New York City picks up neatly bundled woody material as long as you follow Department of Sanitation guidelines

  • Save long, straight branches for staking perennials;
  • Chop up small branches and use to mulch established trees, making sure
    the pieces are less than 6″ long and are in contact with the soil, so they
    can be broken down by fungi;
  • Add chopped trimmings and prunings to your compost, if you have room;
  • Use for firewood, after a thorough, slow drying;
  • Finally, there is an interesting but not particularly urban-friendly
    technique called hugelkultur  that  uses woody material as the bottom layer of a planting mound or hill. Let me  know if you try this 🙂

Free Hot Cider + Apple Cider Doughnuts This Saturday!

8 Jan

 

You know that MulchFest is this Saturday Jan 13th, but did you know there will be doughnuts?!??!

Free doughnuts!  Plus, hot apple cider and coffee will be served during CV MulchFest, 10am to 12 noon on Saturday morning behind 195 Adams. Volunteers are especially needed from 11:30 am to 1230 pm to help move mulch from parking lot into the play area, where the chipped up Christmas trees will be used as safety surfacing for the play equipment fall zones.

Sign up to move mulch here.  You don’t need to commit to working for a full hour, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm is the time we estimate that the mulch pile will be ready. Big kids can help too.

Refreshments are new this year; CV MulchFest is co-sponsored by the Children’s Committee, the Garden Committee, and the Recycling + Sustainability Committee.

Stop by! The wood chipper will be chomping up trees between @ 10 am and 12 noon.

Related stories:

Pollinator Party Resked’d For Sun 630pm

13 May

Forecast calls for rain (and possible thunderstorms) this evening, so we’re rescheduling the Pollinator Appreciation Party.

It will be held this SUNDAY MAY 15th, at 630pm, in the children’s play area behind 195 Adams Street.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

All residents are welcome to join us for garden tours, the hanging of the hummingbird feeder, light refreshments and more.

Learn more about community garden membership (and operational costs) at CVEarthlab.com.

NEW PARTY DATE & TIME: Sunday May 15th from 630pm to 8pm.

Thank you for considering enjoying and supporting the CVEarthlab educational garden. Party RSVPs due tocvearthlab@gmail.com by noon Sunday 5.15.

Thank you! -Denise & The Core Garden Group

Little Cans For Small Hands

28 Apr

IMG_7746Watering season is almost upon us! We’ve moved the kids’ watering cans out of the shed for easy access. Children are welcome to water the flowers and plants in the ground along the play area fence, the Jay St fence or the short border fence at any time. Traditionally, we observe the rule that only grownups are allowed to use the hose, turn on/or spray the water. That said, we encourage adults to fill up watering cans for their little cvEarthLab2of9guys.

If you’re new to the play area, know that we keep sharp tools, soaps and basic chemicals locked in the shed, away from the kids. But the garden is not childproof; there are trip hazards, wood splinters, sharp corners and hardware wire edges around the beds.Please supervise children inside the garden space, or block the entrances with chairs or logs to prevent them from hurting themselves or the seedlings. Its tempting to pull up sprouts from the raised beds, but it will be cvEarthLab1of9.lpgmuch more satisfying once the veg are full grown! (See what’s planned here.)  If you have an idea about how we can make it easier for your child to co-exist with the baby plants, email us, please, at cvearthlab@gmail.com. Once the season is in full swing, we’ll highlight the sensory garden pots that contain mint, cinnamon basil, lemon verbena and other fun to smell, taste and touch herbs.

IMG_3448

It’s almost time for the 2nd Annual Pollinator Appreciation Party! Mark your calendars for Friday May 13th at 6:30pm. We’ll have more planting activities in the coming weeks, and a watering schedule for the vegetable beds will be posted soon. Stay in the loop by signing up for email notifications on CVEarthLab.com. Thanks!

–Ansley, Deb, Denise, Sandy, Shari & Alison, The Core Garden Team

Gallery

Spring Planting Potatoes, Flowers & Lettuce

18 Apr

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Planting Sunday 4.17 at 1:30pm

16 Apr

We’re going to plant seed potatoes, lettuces and other edibles Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm. All are welcome, but the specific planting agenda is still TBD.
Many who attended our sub-irrigated planter workshop have asked about the timeframe for transplanting. It’s too early to do most of the plants and flowers just yet…But we’re working on scheduling some future planting dates in early May. If you have questions about your actual plant send a photo or email to cvearthlab@gmail.com. If you are concerned because you are going away for spring break and need a plant caregiver, post a comment. There are likely other gardeners in your building who may be able to host your planter. Thanks!

Home Care for Sub-Irrigated/ Self-Watering Planters

25 Feb

IMG_3034Thanks to all who came to the workshop last night. I am sharing some tips we use at Benji’s school for PTA plantings…But this is one philosophy or approach, not the only one. Ansley and other gardeners may have different takes on how to proceed — keep your eye on the comments section!

1. (At home) Remove and fill the bottom reservoir cup with about 2-3 inches of water. For one time only, water plant from the top to allow soil and wick to settle. Wick should dangle into liquid to allow soil to “suck up” the water and “self water” the plant.

2. Place in full sun or sunny windowsill.  aclk

3. Add water to bottom cup every 2-3 days. It is OK to spritz soil from the top, but “watering” should be done via the reservoir in the bottom of the planter.

4.  If you need to add soil, use organic potting soil.

5. Depending what you planted, be ready to transplant a little early, because, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, Spring may come early.  The 2016 prediction for NYC’s last frost is April 1st. (Last Spring Frost prediction tagged as having 50% probability).

Reminder: Seed Starting Event Wed

21 Feb
If you’re planning to join CVEarthlab in the community room Wed eve, you’ll need empty soda/water/gatorade bottles (1.5 to 2 liter work best) as well as potting soil. Organic potting soil is preferred for anything edible you may transplant into CV’s raised beds.
We’ll supply organic, no2-Liter-SIP-3.9-300-dpi-dkong-260x195n-GMO seeds plus wicking and labeling material. Wednesday’s event takes place in the community room from 6:30 to8pm. RSVP to cvearthlab@gmail.com by Monday 2/22.
Learn more about planting in self-watering containers here. Thanks!
All CV residents are welcome to become members of the 2016 communal garden. We ask that members donate $25 per household plus contribute time and muscle watering and maintaining the space this season. Checks can be made to CVOI* and left in the office or picked up from your doorman. Contact cvearthlab@gmail.com or come to the event to learn more.
Why join? The season lasts from March to October, even November, and you’ll enjoy the friendly, community spirit plus fresh flowers, herbs and veggies from late spring to late autumn. Last year we were picking basil, parsley, sage and ground cherries, kale and bush beans well after Halloween! 2016 is going to be a great year for the garden–join us!

Kale Salad Recipe

7 Oct

This recipe is forgiving.  It can be made using any crunchy vegetables and fruit you have on hand. –Submitted by Donna C., 230 Jay St.

Ingredients

For salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 small orange pepper
  • 1/2 yellow zucchini
  • 1 Bosc pear
  • 1/4 red onion

For Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Wash, dry, and cut the kale. Julienne (or slice thinly) the other vegetables.
Combine dressing ingredients. Toss it all together and enjoy!

More recipes–>>

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